Sri Lanka's Ruling Party Refuses to Make Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Ministerial Candidate

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Sri Lanka's Ruling Party Refuses to Make Mahinda Rajapaksa Prime Ministerial Candidate

File Photo: Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa


Colombo:  Sri Lankan ruling party coalition today refused to make former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a prime ministerial candidate, dashing his efforts to return to front line politics.

Mr Rajapaksa will not be given party ticket from either the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) or its broader United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition to face the next election to enter parliament, government spokesman and minister Rajitha Senaratne said today.

"The six member committee discussed this issue with the President yesterday. He (Rajapaksa) will not be made the prime ministerial candidate," Mr Senaratne said.

The committee was appointed by the SLFP this week to keep talking to Rajapaksa, 69, in order to get his support in the impending parliamentary election. He was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena in January this year.

The former President, who has ruled Sri Lanka for nearly a decade, has since been making a public campaign to return to front line politics.

A larger section of SLFP, however, backs Mr Rajapaksa, creating a split in Sirisena's party as they see Rajapaksa as the man capable to see the party return to power over Sirisena who was backed to be president by SLFP's rival United National Party.

Sri Lanka's Sirisena government has filed legal action against members of the Rajapaksa family for alleged misdeeds during his rule.


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